Type: Process Essays
Sample donated: Betsy Holland
Last updated: April 12, 2019
Plato was a philosopher who wrote about key arguments, such as the nature of being, the question of how we come to know things, the proper ordering of human society; and the nature of justice truth, the good, love and beauty, in the form of using historical characters to debate them. However, these characters may have had the same name as those in his life but they didn’t share the stances in which he portrays them to. His main argument dealt with a mistrust of mimesis (representation or imitation) in which his ideology flourished in the manner of how “objects in the material world…are…only mutable copies of timeless universals” (Leitch 41). Essentially, he wanted to understand the undeniable truths of the world and how they coincided with its surroundings.
Although, it is a challenge to truly obtain the knowledge of what Plato believed, one could assume from his writings that he wanted people to have a solid foundation to live their lives understanding what was true and what was false, as he described in Republic. The Secret Room by Alain Robbe-Grillet is a story that has a great utilization of surrealism to illustrate feelings about what is perceived as traditional gender relations, sex. In the modern world, this could be interpreted as the best form to express such thoughts due to the delicate nature of the topic in question, including the manner in which the traditional view is challenged. However, in the context of Plato and his interpretations, one can assume that he would take this piece as a stringent falsehood for that is what surrealism is. This type of art with words that Robbe-Grillet uses, displays the connection of the dream world with reality as a top layer to one’s mind. With this in mind, Plato would see this as a falsehood in the sense that he cannot control what his mind is feeling and seeing with these images described. The context of his surrealism provides the readers with the means to step outside their own situations and look at the story from a perspective that had not been previously possible. From Plato’s Republic, one can connect his thought process as one that must have a set structure on which the mind is conditioned to react and think in the situations that arise.
With this story that isn’t the case as it is pushing the reader to think outside of their comfort zones and into an unknown reality. The start of the story details the flow of blood that, at first, seems to fill the entire picture. Through that, the setting, as one continues to read on, is unfamiliar for its set in a context of pure fantasy mixed in with reality and that’s not an easy connection for a typical reader to make. For Plato himself, one could see him reacting negatively to a story such as this one due to the fact that there isn’t an established point that Robbe-Grillet wants to get across. He simply wants his readers to take in the story and go on this journey wherever it will take them.
To just let go, breathe, and flow with the words of the story; to be captured in a way that they haven’t before as this is an unconventional form of art that is both uncertain and exciting.Here comes the enthralling aspect: after the unfamiliarity is established, Robbe-Grillet denaturalizes the view of the reader to view it the way the author has presented it. He has the control of the reins and is pulling the reader deeper and deeper into the story. Plato definitely would see this as a falsehood, a lie, for the author is creating a story through his point of view. He is taking the reader through several, distinct surreal scenes in order to capture their interest and that goes against all of Plato’s principles for he believes that the concept of truth isn’t being portrayed. In this case, the mimesis is true to the core as the author is using his words and the art of surrealism to coerce the reader to see his perspective and is thus controlling the reader’s mind in this form to lead them to the “mind blown” of the story’s end. For throughout the majority of the story, the reader is being guided by the author blindly and doesn’t have a real grasp on where this story will take them.
They are in a sense, placing their trust on someone they don’t even know for the thrill of the unknown.